DRIVERS – Jerome D'AMBROSIO (Virgin), Jenson BUTTON (McLaren), Paul DI RESTA (Force India), Kamui KOBAYASHI (Sauber), Heikki KOVALAINEN (Team Lotus), Sebastian VETTEL (Red Bull)
Q. Jerome, this is quite a challenging circuit but at least you have some experience of it.
Jerome D'AMBROSIO: Yeah, definitely. It is a challenging circuit. For me it is probably I'd say as nice as Spa, which, being a Belgian comparing it to Spa... For me, it is even a bit better than Spa. It is something exceptional to drive around here. I enjoyed doing so last year, about 15 laps in Friday Free Practice, so should be very good and cannot wait to be in the car.
Q. Just give us some idea of your future with the team. Where are you in terms of discussions for next year?
JD'A: Well, at the moment it is really the same as I said in Spa. There are obviously talks going on and management speaking with the team, speaking for my future about next year in Formula 1. Now my job is to focus on the current season. There are still five grands prix to go. I think I had my best grand prix so far in Singapore and throughout these races I need to focus on the present and not what will happen next year. I'll keep busy and working on what I do in the car and I'll let the management sort out the rest.
Q. But you were pleased with the Singapore race anyway?
JD'A: Definitely, yes.
Q. Paul, similar situation in a funny sort of way, except you haven't driven the circuit I don't think?
Paul Di RESTA: No, it is obviously the first experience being here and seeing this track. It looks very special. Having walked it this morning it is obviously very narrow but very fast. I have done what I can in the simulator to try to prepare myself. I think the main thing is hopefully the weather should be stable and we can continue progressing through the weekend.
Q. Some really good performances in the last few races. Do you believe that they can continue?
PDR: Yeah, I don't see why not. Certainly the last four grands prix have been very good for us as a team. I think Singapore, definitely on pace, we got the result that we [deserved]. Really coming here we need to try and focus on doing the same job. We have a small update here as well. Hopefully, we can continue and just really stay where we are and certainly put a fight up with Renault as they are within sights for the Constructors' Championship.
Q. Does that make it more difficult not knowing this particular circuit, with it being a technical circuit?
PDR: It is definitely not easier. But it has been like a lot of the tracks this year. I think I have only raced on Spa before we had gone to any grand prix this year, so really just trying to take it step-by-step. I am in the car for both sessions, which is important tomorrow, and really [I will] just try to reference myself as much as possible off Adrian [Sutil] who has done quite a lot here in the past having done Japanese Formula Three here for a year.
Q. So he will help out with settings?
PDR: Yeah, he has shown to be very strong here in the past so you can only really look and hopefully get a feeling quicker than normal.
Q. Heikki, again it is a good circuit for you. You've had some good results here both in qualifying and the race. And very pleased with the Singapore performance as well, so what are your hopes for here?
Heikki KOVALAINEN: Hopefully, we can do another solid race. Obviously, we are defending the 10th position in the championship. For the team that is very important, so that's our primary goal and, of course myself, trying to stay ahead of the new cars at the back if you like. So far the season has been very positive for me so just carrying on doing that trend.
Q. Is that the most important thing or is the more important thing to get in among the established teams ahead, which you managed to do in Singapore?
HK: Well, ultimately the most important thing is to beat Sebastian Vettel, but you have got to be realistic. For myself the gap to the car ahead of us at most of the circuits is still too big so we need to work on our car to make it quicker. At the moment the best we can do, and the best we can realistically hope for, is to be ahead of them and maintain the 10th in the championship and then look forward to the future. Singapore, unusual race, circumstances worked well for us so we were able to beat one Renault. If that happens again this weekend: why not. But it might not be realistic.
Q. And still bringing the car forward as well technically?
HK: The update that we brought to Singapore I think was working. It was successful, so we closed the gap slightly and at least we didn't lose out to any other teams, which is encouraging. We are working on next year's car to improve overall performance so that's a work in progress and just keep the heads down and keep working.
Q. Jenson, some good news overnight that you had signed a multi-year deal. Can you give any more details?
Jenson BUTTON: You always want more. No, I can't. But all I can say is that I am very happy. I think this is a great opportunity over the next couple of years to really work closely with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. We are so close to fighting with Red Bull, but yet so far. I think it is good to have the continuity going forward for the next couple of years. It is going to help us take the fight to them next season, I hope. That's what we are working toward. It's been a good couple of weeks. I have been enjoying racing and it is nice to finally sign on the dotted line and get a deal in place for the near future.
Q. I got the impression there were maybe one or two other teams in the frame though?
JB: I think it is all speculation.
Q. We saw you do a little shopping earlier on this morning. The motorcycle shop down the road. Did you buy anything?
JB: No, I was checking out some bikes, but it wasn't for me, it was for someone else. Have you been following me?
Q. We were just talking about you, myself and a colleague, and there you were.
JB: I do do other things except race Formula 1 cars.
Q. You have got a pretty remarkable record here. I think I surprised you last year when telling you that you'd finished all 10 of your Japanese Grands Prix. And as you finished last year it is now all 11. Is it a circuit that you enjoy and obviously a circuit where you would love to win?
JB: Yeah, I would love to win here. It is a circuit along with Spa and Monaco, they mean a lot to all of us. It is such a challenge driving around here for one lap in qualifying, but putting every single lap together is a real challenge and doing it quicker than anybody else is a real challenge. Yes, it would mean a lot to me to win here at Suzuka. That's our aim this weekend. Whether we are quick enough or not we will have to wait and see but we are in the hunt and I am looking forward to a fun weekend. Hopefully, we can get up there.
Q. Do you think on occasions over the last few grands prix that you have had the quicker car? Do you think you still could have the quicker car but it is dependent on which part of the weekend, what they have brought?
JB: Yeah, I think on occasions we have been on a par with the Red Bull. Sometimes I have felt that maybe we have had a little bit more performance but I don't think we got the best out of what we had. The last race we weren't quick enough to win. Sebastian and Red Bull did a great job. Even if you are a few seconds behind it doesn't mean you had a chance of winning. Here it is a little bit more like Spa. Obviously it is probably higher downforce than around Spa but it is a flowing medium high-speed circuit. Our car worked well in Spa and hopefully it will be the same case here. This circuit is normally reasonably difficult to overtake on but with the goodies that we have, with the Pirelli tires, with the KERS, the DRS, we should see some really good racing around here.